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Games Your Rights Online

Is Online Property Real? Lawyer Says Sort-Of 128

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i-paid-10-btc-for-this-dire-wolf dept.
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting on an analysis by lawyer Justin Kwong in the William Mitchell Law Review about virtual property and ownership. Justin Kwong asserts that virtual items are not real items (PDF) and that you do not own them but only have a license. The analysis stems from a 2008 case of a Blaine, MN man who filed a police report for the online theft of approximately $3800 of virtual goods. Justin Kwong compares virtual items to a mug club at a bar where patrons purchase rights to a specific numbered mug but cannot remove the mug from the premises. He does note that if in game items are purchased there needs to be clear language stating: 'the transaction is a license, not a sale, and that traditional consumer protections afforded by sales of goods do not necessarily apply.'" Justin Kwong also made a weblog entry responding to misconceptions expressed in comments on the St. Paul Pioneer Press article.
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Is Online Property Real? Lawyer Says Sort-Of

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  • Re:Of Course! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Monday October 24, 2011 @11:38AM (#37818740) Homepage

    The same way you do in a real world sport, every game would have its own boundaries based on the rules, normal behavior and context. If you enter a boxing tournament there's different rules from a football or golf tournament. Obviously if burglary or being a pickpocket is part of the game, then stealing your shit is fair game. Hacking your account is clearly not part of the game and illegal. Fraud, well there is no crystal clear line of fraud but there isn't one in the real world either. And yet the world managed to work it out fine before the Internet.

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